In a fitting bit of timing, Los Angeles’ two star quarterback prospects both declared for the NFL draft on Wednesday.
UCLA junior Josh Rosen announced his decision in a Twitter statement, and Southern California third-year sophomore Sam Darnold made his declaration in an Instagram video.
According to ESPN draft analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., Rosen is the No. 1 draft-eligible quarterback. McShay ranks Rosen as the top overall prospect, while Kiper has him at No. 4.
McShay has Darnold No. 2 among quarterbacks, No. 5 overall, while Kiper lists Darnold No. 2 among QBs, No. 2 overall.
Rosen wrote on his Twitter account, “Over the last three years, UCLA has helped me grow as an athlete, a scholar, and a member of the community. I have made some mistakes along the way; however, I am grateful that I made those mistakes backed by such a supportive and positive university, so that I could learn from them and better myself. To the UCLA students, alumni, and fans, I appreciate all of your unwavering support.”
He added, “I wish we had won more games, but friendships were forged and memories were made that will last a lifetime.”
Rosen threw for 3,756 yards this year, completing 283 of 452 passes (62.6 percent) with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for two touchdowns.
In three years at UCLA, he passed for 9,341 yards with 59 TD passes and 26 interceptions.
Rosen played 11 games this season, missing a November contest against Utah and the Cactus Bowl against Kansas State due to concussions. The Bruins finished 6-7, losing both games Rosen sat out.
Darnold completed 303 of 480 passes for 4,143 yards this season, tossing 26 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. He finishes his two-year USC tenure with 7,229 passing yards, 57 TD passes and 22 interceptions.
The Trojans finished 11-3 after a loss to Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl, though Darnold threw for 356 yards against the Buckeyes.
The top two teams in this year’s NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants, both have unsettled quarterback situations. The Indianapolis Colts hold the third pick, and they are hopeful Andrew Luck can return from an injury-marred season. The Browns own the fourth pick, and two more teams in need of quarterbacks, the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, select fifth and sixth, respectively.
“Hey Trojan fans, this is Sam Darnold. After talking with my immediate family, close friends and many people who have helped me throughout my life, I have made the decision to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. I’ve been blessed that my life has been full of memorable moments and wonderful people. The people who have been involved in making me the man I am today have prepared me for the life and decisions that I have to make in the future.”
–Field Level Media